The Bravery - Manchester Academy 3 - 21.4.07

This swift jaunt around venues the size of their dressing room the last time The Bravery came to Manchester with Depeche Mode, is a warm up to second album ‘The Sun And The Moon’. However, it is the brazen keyboard and hurtling guitar moulding ‘Fearless’ that re-introduces the band that once commanded more air time than Terry Wogan. This catchy single from the self-titled debut album, immediately drives home the fact that Sam Endicott’s lofty pitch has not dropped down a level. The tighter surroundings give his voice, if anything, extra profile. The Ramones intro to ‘Behave’ that turns into a touching power ballad with a dragging Ricky Wilson vocal toe, demonstrates that Big Sam has discovered some vocal yearning and depth. This is the first snippet of material from the forthcoming second album, due out in July.

The fire drill inspired ‘Public Service Announcement’, provides for the first hearty sing-a-long, as the Sunday night crowd makes the most of the intimate surroundings and so does the band. That famous The Bravery energy is contained a little tonight given the compact nature of the stage, but this only gives more vigour to the sound producing. Such as the Deep Purple pushed ‘Tyrant’, as well as the belting percussion and chugging guitar driven, ‘This Is Not The End’. Technical difficulties descend upon proceedings, with the inevitability of an away team having a penalty appeal dismissed at Old Trafford. However, they are conquered with little fuss and some inter-band banter entertains, providing a hint as to the state of ease and contentment that this Poughkeepsie, New York quintet now possesses.

Of all the new offerings it is the punk-spirited, keyboard whirlpool and politically insurgent ‘Every Word From Your Mouth Is A Knife In My Ear’ that represents a bold step forward for the outfit. Its freshness and bite are appreciated tonight and it is sure to add some spice to the new album. ‘Honest Mistake’ sets off an inhibition releasing fuse and ‘Swolen Summer’ has lost none of its high-pitched, melodious pinch. Seasoned main set ender ‘Unconditional’, loses a bit of its kick due to returning technical glitches, but the crowd involved cries helps to revive its spirit. An encore inclusive of the longing ‘Angelina’, completes a hot warm up and the news that the band will be back over here in July is warmly welcomed. Some bands prepare for an album’s release with a few months on a beach or in a hut in some wood, prior to the relentless touring its release involves. The Bravery don’t!

David Adair

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